Ask for a lower CC rate until you get one!

It's my third month with YNAB and I feel so much better about my finances, but it is going to take me a while to pay down credit card debt. About a month ago I called Discover to request a reduction in my APR and I ran into a dead end when they told me they could only reduce it for future purchases (which I am not making with this card.)

Fast forward to now. I decided to try again, but this time to begin by asking for a reduction in my EXISTING balance. Note that I have had the card for 11 years. After a fairly brief hold the representative came back and told me that they have a program I could participate in:

  • 1-year term, after which time APR returns to normal
  • 12.99% — a great reduction in my rate !!
  • freeze on purchases during participation
  • Keep existing lower balance transfer rates until they expire

I'm beyond thrilled. I won't have it paid off in a year, but I can apply that money saved in interested to the balance and be that much closer!

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  • Hi Wendy !

    That is great news and a grand opportunity to tackle that debt head-on! I know a number of people don't reach out to their credit card providers, but it can help save on interest and time when it comes to paying down those existing balances. It sounds like Discover is pretty fair on helping! :)

    Reply Like 2
      • BajaChica
      • Purple_Memory.1
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Faness 

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  • This is REALLY encouraging, thanks for sharing your experience! Maybe in the next month or two I'll be brave and make some of these calls to my card companies... :)

    Reply Like 2
  • SUCCESS, I was able to do this as well (see my post here), thanks so much for the inspiration!!! :)

    Reply Like 3
      • Wendy
      • gwenasaurus
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Resistant Punch Roller Yay!! I'm so glad to hear it! Going to read your post now......

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  • In addition to asking for a lower rate, ask to have certain fees reversed. Many places will reverse a certain amount of fees per year.  This is *any* company. I worked at a call center for a major cell company, everybody had a certain amount that could be refunded with the right attitude and reason. Be nice to them and they will be so grateful they will WANT to give you money. I lasted 6 months. Please be nice to them,

    Last time i was at my credit union i simly asked if i could have an overdraft fee reversed. $27. I mentioned that while it was technically valid, i had been a member for a long time and cant remember having ever had fees taking care of. I mentioned that it was a mistake on my part. They reversed it! $27 will go a long way in my budget! Im going to go add that to my journal thread.

    Reply Like 2
  • Wendy said:
    I won't have it paid off in a year, but I can apply that money saved in interested to the balance and be that much closer!

     I just reread your post. Double check the fine print of your offer that they wont try to add on all the accumulated interest at the end because you didnt pay off the balance under the lower interest in the 1 year term.

    Reply Like 1
    • vw_bugg This is an excellent point, and I made sure to ask about exactly this when setting up my arrangement with Discover, and they confirmed that no "back interest" will be charged, that it's just a temporary rate reduction and that the rate will revert to normal after 6 months (in my case, 12 in OP's), but only on the *remaining* balance after that time. Hooray! :)

      Reply Like 2
  • this is a game changer, go you!

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  • Hi Wendy - I finally got up the nerve to call one of my credit card companies and was told the 18.8% they were charging me was their lowest rate 😪 I'm bummed...but at least I tried.

    Reply Like 2
  • I called and asked Discover for a rate reduction about 3 months ago. They informed me that I was already at the lowest interest rate I qualified for (20.74% v), but enrolled me in a program that credits you 5% of your minimum payment if you make a payment that is over the minimum.

    After reading this, I called again and specifically asked about reducing my interest rate on my current balance. The guy informed me that they ONLY make rate reductions for futures purchases (which I have no plans to do) and decreased my rate to 18.99% v. Because he could see that I had already talked to someone about a rate reduction and they emailed me an "Owing Less by Reducing Interest Charges" tip sheet, he asked if wanted that information again, even though they've already talked to me about it. I could practically hear his eyes rolling . (I've called a number of times over the last 10 years I've been a Discover customer, and he's the only person I've ever talked to that was super condescending...).

    So, they know I've got and end game here...how do I get them to reduce my existing rate for 6-12 months? Is there a magic word? Do I call them out nicely and say that I KNOW they can do it? Do I point out that I've been a loyal customer and have never made a late payment? We are working on a snowball plan and every little bit of interest that we don't have to pay gets lumped into our snowball to pay down principal balances. I don't want to be annoying, but if we could reduce all of our interest rates we could get out of debt so much sooner!

    Reply Like 1
      • Wendy
      • gwenasaurus
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      pineppledreams In my account on the Discover card website there is a whole dashboard for the program I'm enrolled in. It shows my reduced interest rate, how many months total and how far in I am, and an estimate of how much interest I've saved. It refers to it as a "Payment Plan". It DOES suspend your card so that you can't use it (NOT a problem!! :))

      If the person that you speak with can't offer you anything, ask to speak to someone that can or their manager (note that I didn't have to do this). Good luck! Please report back :)

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